Wow, parks and trails / bike paths / walking paths in these two countries are on another level. Not to mention food and history and all the other great stuff.
Some random notes pertaining to running:
- tracks in Netherlands are *not* open to the public. My first two tries were in an attempt to do a workout, the subsequent 3 tries were b/c I happened to walk by and was curious to see if any were open to the public. But all 5 tracks were closed off very well (2 in Rotterdam, 1 just south of Rotterdam, 1 in Amsterdam, and 1 in Gouda)
- I wanted to do 12x400 but after 2 failed attempts to access tracks I gave up and decided to just do time-based intervals on a nearby paved path. Wouldn't you know: the path was marked with 50 meter, 100 meter, 150 meter, 200 meter, 300 meter, and 400 meter distances and was a pseudo-monument to (retired Dutch sprinter) Dafne Schippers. Workout sucked but I have a deeper appreciation for how Europe values their athletes. Wij houden van Oranje.
- The olympic track in Stockholm (also where the Diamond League is held) *is* open to the public..... but while I was there 4 snow generators were in use on the infield. So I did a lap just to say I did one and it was through falling snow and 10-15 cm of fresh snow on the ground - meanwhile there was no precipitation in the rest of the city.
- the stockholm Royal National City Park is just enormous - you can run for hours without repeating your steps and without crossing a road. It was cool seeing 3 different groups of runners doing group runs including harder efforts and rest - I can only assume it was fartleks (I didn't know the word's origin is Swedish)